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Purported shots of Microsoft's touchscreen device revealed

post #1 of 224
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Detailed mock-ups alleged to be Microsoft's rumored touchscreen hardware have surfaced, revealing a dual-screen device that folds out like a book -- very different from the form factor Apple's own 10-inch tablet is rumored to take.

Gizmodo has pictures and video of the device, named Courier, which is reported to be in the late prototype stage of development. The device has two 7-inch screens held together by a hinge. The multi-touch screens are designed for writing, and can be controlled with either a stylus or fingers.

The Microsoft Courier also reportedly includes Wi-Fi, an iPhone-like home button, a camera on the reverse side, and perhaps an inductive charging pad like the Touchstone available for the Palm Pre.

The project is said to be under the eye of J Allard, Microsoft's chief experience officer. Earlier this week, another report corroborated the existence of the touchscreen device as part of something known as "Alchemy Ventures."

Though the project was kept tightly under wraps at Microsoft, a video and pictures were obtained from an internal division within the Redmond, Wash., company's Entertainment & Devices section, showing an authentic-looking mock-up of the device.

Though Apple's own tablet device only exists in rumors thus far, comparisons are only inevitable as the hype around the anticipated hardware from the Cupertino, Calif., company has continued to build for months and years.

"The Courier user experience presented here is almost the exact opposite of what everyone expects the Apple tablet to be, a kung fu eagle claw to Apple's tiger style," the report said. "It's complex: Two screens, a mashup of a pen-dominated interface with several types of multitouch finger gestures, and multiple graphically complex themes, modes and applications. (Our favorite UI bit? The hinge doubles as a "pocket" to hold items you want move from one page to another.) Microsoft's tablet heritage is digital ink-oriented, and this interface, while unlike anything we've seen before, clearly draws from that, its work with the Surface touch computer and even the Zune HD."



Earlier this week, it was speculated that Microsoft might wait to officially reveal its device until Apple unveils its own, long-rumored tablet, expected to launch in early 2010. But with Tuesday's alleged leak, the company might be forced to show off its concept before then.

Whether Microsoft would make the hardware themselves or license it out to third-parties is unclear. The Gizmodo report only notes that the device "appears to be at a stage where Microsoft is developing the user experience and showing design concepts to outside agencies."



In addition to pushing the notion of the tablet PC for years, Microsoft has been behind one other touch-centric device, called Surface. Revealed more than two years ago, the costly technology has yet to see any widespread real world adoption.
post #2 of 224
let's put a hinge in it.
post #3 of 224
I think it actually looks kind of nice...God only knows how terrible it will be to use. I am not a MS hater, but I have truly lost faith. I wish I could believe, but it just seems like such a safe bet that this thing will be a disaster that I can't get excited. Nonetheless, at least it isn't gaudy looking.
post #4 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post

let's put a hinge in it.

Are you saying this is a bad thing? I'd think the billions of laptops out there would convince you otherwise.
post #5 of 224
Wow, that actually looks cool!
post #6 of 224
Microsoft would make something that looks that impractical but I don't buy anything Gizmodo has to sell.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #7 of 224
Impressive.

Most impressive.

But the UI almost seems too advanced, you know? It's above and beyond anything I've ever seen. I have a hard time believing it'll actually work that way.

And I say bring on the competition. The Zune came along after the iPod had established its stranglehold, so even if the Zune HD is a good product, the iPod is too established (and the Zune HD's predecessors too underwhelming) for it to ever have a shot.

But if this means The Tablet Wars have begun, then I say bully to that.
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27" 3.06 GHz iMac

16 GB iPhone 4
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Apple TV (2nd gen)
Apple TV (1st gen 40 GB)
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post #8 of 224
I just watched the video over at Neowin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmIgNfp-MdI

That is quite possibly the most impressive UI and device I've seen in a long time. I have my doubts if MS could actually pull that off within the next year or so, but I wish them all the luck! It looks fabulous and I love competition!
post #9 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoboomafoo View Post

Are you saying this is a bad thing?

Why yes, yes I am.

Quote:
I'd think the billions of laptops out there would convince you otherwise.

Sorry, I think more in specifics than in generalizations from areas that don't necessarily apply.
IMHO, it will be difficult to make a reliable signal-carrying hinge that swivels 180 degrees, with the flexibility to open even wider. This "thing" should be capable of withstanding being opened far more often than a laptop.
post #10 of 224
Video is pretty awesome. Here's to hoping that Apple and M$FT duke it out pretty heavily in this arena, then the ultimate winner is us, the consumer!
post #11 of 224
They can't even make a decent web browser for a mobile phone - they could never pull this off. Not that it even has a consistent UI. Microsoft engineers probably took one look at this promo video (put together by marketing) and probably started laughing their asses off.
post #12 of 224
Let me add again, I'm glad that there are even videos and pictures of this thing out there. Apple won't even dangle a friggin' table scrap in front of us with the upcoming tablet (if they're even doing one at all).

And I also like the fact that it has multi-touch AND pen input for writing. An onscreen keyboard is all well in good, but being able to actually write notes and write out URLs with a pen is a big plus to me.

PLEASE, PLEASE Microsoft, MAKE THIS THING!
post #13 of 224
If Microsoft found a way to put Surface into what everyone in business person carries every day (a planer) Then Apple is screwed. Surface is Windows most advanced OS they've ever displayed and is shipping on larger models.

I thought Google was Apple's biggest threat on every front of Apple's current model.

If Microsoft has brought Surface to desktop it's a new ball game between Microsoft & Google. Both offer Multi-Tasking on both OS and mobile, both offer an open solution for every vendor to build on.

Kind of reminds me of the early 90's.

i What? Oh you mean that piece of fruit that has been goudging users for years and charging 4 times what the product was worth.

I've got an iBone & can't wait until my contract is up. I'm not the only one, I'm sure of that.
post #14 of 224
guys, Microsoft always promises the world. How many demo technologies have we seen them "invent" ( aquire ) and how many make it to market. Remember Microsoft is a relative newbie to the hardware world... Zune is the only thing they've ever made themselves ( well, I guess back in the day they commissioned the MS mouse and keyboard )

They don't even know how to succeed in this business. How do you think Dell or HP will react if Microsoft starts producing their own systems?

They don't want to rock that boat.

I'm sure this will be a "concept" box like the light table thing they have... when it actually gets built it won't look or behave anything like what they've said.

I hope it happens. Apple needs some healthy competition. Apple has been on the top of the world for so long, and no one has even come close. I was utterly shocked that no one could touch iPhone. Jobs called that niche amazingly well. It's been years and the Palm Pre is the only device with a chance on the market.
post #15 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntercr View Post

built it won't look or behave anything like what they've said.

I hope it happens. Apple needs some healthy competition. Apple has been on the top of the world for so long, and no one has even come close. I was utterly shocked that no one could touch iPhone. Jobs called that niche amazingly well. It's been years and the Palm Pre is the only device with a chance on the market.

Palm is rumored to by purchased by Nokia. The largest manufacturer of Phones in the World. That's why Palm stock shot up by 7% today to 17.07 and up another 17 cents in after hours.

If Nokia purchases Palms OS and puts it on their phones then Google has some real competition. Apple is kind of left in the dust with their current offering.
post #16 of 224
Here's the full article on Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5365299/courier-f...-secret-tablet

Check out the video, it looks really cool. Who knows if this will even be half-way as cool as it looks. Parts are a bit confusing to use but i think it's light-years beyond anything MS has produced in the last 2 decades. We'll see if this rumor comes true. Knowing MS, it will probably suck. If you look at the video for "surface" you'll notice that the responsiveness of the touch screen is about like the HTC touch. Very delayed, not as smooth as the iphone.

Why didn't Apple think of this? Well part of it, they did think of. The other part, well...MS always thinks of the big ideas first, they just never successfully produce those big ideas into concrete, workable solutions. That's where Apple comes in. They take all of MS's good ideas and perfects them and simplifies them to where they become a household name, like iPod instead of MP3 Player. Or iTunes, instead of windows media center/player etc...

My prediction is that Apple's Tablet will be exactly like this in a tablet, single screen format and the MS version to be released afterward is going to suck, because MS is all about the numbers and not the UI success.
post #17 of 224
More smoke.

They can't even fix Windows Mobile, and they've had over two years to do it.

Oh, they can make a great tablet . . . if they outsource it to Apple.
post #18 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

Why didn't Apple think of this?

They already have, and have most likely surpassed it, ready for early 2010.
post #19 of 224
... but that's all it is. An animation showing a concept. The "video" is not of a real person interacting with a real device. So what it amounts to is a Star Trek food replicator... an amazing idea that, on the screen is pretty impressive but there is nothing like it in the real world - well, at least not from MS.

I would love to see MS pull this off but I have major doubts they are even close to being to produce this thing.

Reality check is right!
post #20 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntercr View Post

guys, Microsoft always promises the world. How many demo technologies have we seen them "invent" ( aquire ) and how many make it to market. Remember Microsoft is a relative newbie to the hardware world... Zune is the only thing they've ever made themselves ( well, I guess back in the day they commissioned the MS mouse and keyboard )

They don't even know how to succeed in this business. How do you think Dell or HP will react if Microsoft starts producing their own systems?

They don't want to rock that boat.

I'm sure this will be a "concept" box like the light table thing they have... when it actually gets built it won't look or behave anything like what they've said.

I hope it happens. Apple needs some healthy competition. Apple has been on the top of the world for so long, and no one has even come close. I was utterly shocked that no one could touch iPhone. Jobs called that niche amazingly well. It's been years and the Palm Pre is the only device with a chance on the market.

Sorry to disagree with you but EVERY tech company invents a lot of crap, it's just Microsoft that's public about it. It's probably their way of showing the end user what they are thinking and bouncing that off on the public. Good Marketing. Apple just comes up with amazing stuff (based on those reactions) and MAKES us NEED IT...That's not a bad thing either, since they have an eye for what the public wants.

How many AI posts have we seen in the last 10 years that show all the useless patents that Apple has taken out on crazy tech's that never see the light of day? Way more than you can imagine, AI just get's a few. That's what inventors do, they come up with a lot of crap before they get the Gem.

however, i do agree with you about Apple and competition. If this Apple Tablet makes it out without any serious competition, the rest of the Tech industry is screwed, because you know this tablet is going to be pretty cool if they've released nothing about it officially.
post #21 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonVendorFan View Post

Palm is rumored to by purchased by Nokia. The largest manufacturer of Phones in the World. That's why Palm stock shot up by 7% today to 17.07 and up another 17 cents in after hours.

If Nokia purchases Palms OS and puts it on their phones then Google has some real competition. Apple is kind of left in the dust with their current offering.

Except for the fact that they can hardly keep up with demand for their current offering.
post #22 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

They already have, and have most likely surpassed it, ready for early 2010.

did you not read past the quote you just posted on? Because, Captain Obvious, i said Apple did think of it, in part.

The iphone was the culmination of years of MS messing up the mobile phone market and the PDA industry...mix in a little Apple's old Newton, and you've got the iPhone. like i said, Apple may not be the first to think of everything, but they certainly are the best at designing it.
post #23 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

I just watched the video over at Neowin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmIgNfp-MdI

That is quite possibly the most impressive UI and device I've seen in a long time. I have my doubts if MS could actually pull that off within the next year or so, but I wish them all the luck! It looks fabulous and I love competition!

That video looks like it was stolen from Apple's vault. I'm with you, I can't see Microsoft pulling off something that cool in the next few years. Heck, their phone OS is still based off of Windows CE. I'm all for competition because it keeps Apple on their toes, but I'm calling vaporware big-time until this is released.
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post #24 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post


like i said, Apple may not be the first to think of everything, but they certainly are the best at designing it.

True enough.
post #25 of 224
Anybody who knows me here and are familiar with my numerous comments and opinions on Apple's upcoming device should make special note of my reaction to this Microsoft prototype...........

Awwwwwwwww snap!

Wow, I'm tellin y'all righhhhhhht now...Apple had better BRING IT come 2010!
post #26 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonVendorFan View Post

If Microsoft found a way to put Surface into what everyone in business person carries every day (a planer) Then Apple is screwed. Surface is Windows most advanced OS they've ever displayed and is shipping on larger models.

Surface is not Microsoft's most advanced OS - that would be Windows XP. Surface is just a media player - kinda like a big Zune.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bObe0YeLYoc

post #27 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Except for the fact that they can hardly keep up with demand for their current offering.

yes, but that's even a distorted projection of success at that! Companies very deliberately (sometimes) create a false sense of success by creating their own demand by producing fewer than demand. By doing this they can create buzz about how they "sold out in just 8 hours of being released"...yeah, because you didn't make enough in the first place and now everyone wants one because they think it's the new hot item on demand and they all need to be on a waiting list for it...

Look at the Toyota Prius, you have to be on a waiting list in some areas because its so popular and there wasn't enough produced. It's been like that since the Gen 3.0 Prius has been out (since 2001). you'd think by now Toyota would have a good idea of what consumer demand is and would produce a good amount of these cars. Why, you might ask, have they not kept up with demand? because Toyota knows when something has a high demand, you can ask any price you want, hence create more buzz than it's worth and people with eat it up by the droves...
post #28 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

That video looks like it was stolen from Apple's vault. I'm with you, I can't see Microsoft pulling off something that cool in the next few years. Heck, their phone OS is still based off of Windows CE. I'm all for competition because it keeps Apple on their toes, but I'm calling vaporware big-time until this is released.

That's what this room said about Google Anroid & Google OS. Maybe Old Dogs can learn new tricks. Surface has rocked since it was in concept and table format.

Put it on a multi surface tablet (planner) and it's nothing short of brilliant.


Do some research on Surface. Apple has nothing that even comes close to comparing with it.
post #29 of 224
Oh yeah, and all you Apple fanboys and apologists:

You go ahead and keep underestimating the enemy. See if you don't end up like the US in Vietnam or Custer at the little bighorn.

I'll bet good money that Steve Jobs almost choked on his protein shake when he read that article over at gizmodo. He's probably calling up an emergency meeting on his campus right now!

If I were him, I would have round the clock shifts 24/7 working on the Apple tablet till it was ABSOLUTELY PERFECT from the hardware to the software. So that it would shake the tech world to it's very foundation when it is unveiled next year!
post #30 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

Surface is not Microsoft's most advanced OS - that would be Windows XP. Surface is just a media player - kinda like a big Zune.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bObe0YeLYoc


Get a life and quit drinking the Kool Aid.

Do some real research and not pull up some random YouTube (Google your competitor) Video.

I'm loving that Google has put push email on my iPhone with Gmail. It takes the wind out of MobileMe's overpriced Apple goudging while they can get it marketing plan.

I think we are starting to see Google come to full steam and they will put out what they want when they want without Apple telling them it isn't good for Apple's business model.

The beginning of the end.
post #31 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

That video looks like it was stolen from Apple's vault. I'm with you, I can't see Microsoft pulling off something that cool in the next few years. Heck, their phone OS is still based off of Windows CE. I'm all for competition because it keeps Apple on their toes, but I'm calling vaporware big-time until this is released.

It's supposed to be ready......now! It's going to debut next year around January at CES. There is no way that Microsoft is going to let Apple steal the show again by releasing another super mobile product.
Microsoft is going to attempt to beat Apple to the punch.
post #32 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

It's supposed to be ready......now! It's going to debut next year around January at CES. There is no way that Microsoft is going to let Apple steal the show again by releasing another super mobile product.
Microsoft is going to attempt to beat Apple to the punch.

So why not release it at the September Expo? Seems like it could be on the holiday gift list of everyone this year. Then they could really one-up Apple.
post #33 of 224
Wow, impressive video. Who knows if it'll happen, but that's a great concept.

Knowledge Navigator, anyone?
post #34 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

More smoke.

They can't even fix Windows Mobile, and they've had over two years to do it.

Oh, they can make a great tablet . . . if they outsource it to Apple.

This is smoke cubed without any fire at all.

No hardware shown!
No software shown!
No evidence of anything beyond a animation that, today, any high school geek could produce. Just look at various animations out there by young, talented amateurs.

This certainly seems like desperate smoke put out to draw attention away from the Apple tablet rumors. This seems to be following the path of the Gates/Seinfeld commercials.

I can remember the Surface rumors that preceded the revelation of the large, $10,000, table that was then late to release and of very very limited use and market. 'It was great' 'It would be the real multitouch implementation'. So far, several years later, no impact.

Also sounds like all of those Longhorn demos 10 years ago with all those nifty file systems, and UI revolutions that have yet to be released.
post #35 of 224
Concept video. It's all canned animation. No real device.

Pretty sweet if the real thing worked as well as that though.
post #36 of 224
PC innovations lab crew working overtime on a great video, but lets see if it comes to life.

Competition is healthy!
post #37 of 224
man that looks sweet
post #38 of 224
All these renders and concept videos explicitly target Designers.

As a Graphic Designer, this looks fucking awesome.

However, if it is going to take the form of a notebook, I better be able to fold one screen behind the other so I can easily take notes while I'm out at a gallery/prop house/site getting inspiration and taking notes. I'm not buying it if the only way I can effectively use is when sitting down. Also: pressure sensitivity. If you're going to make it the Kindle of Moleskines, sketching and taking notes better be just like sketching and taking notes. With the added goodness of it being digital.

The UI complexity is actually pretty sweet, but I'm an advanced user. I hope the software is scalable so my mom can pick it up and feel comfortable using it. BUT: If you're targeting advanced users, go for it. Pull out the stops.

Again: As a Graphic Designer, this looks fucking awesome.

But: As a Graphic Designer, this had better sync up with my Mac (unlike the new Zune HD).
post #39 of 224
Quote:
Though Apple's own tablet device only exists in rumors thus far, comparisons are only inevitable as the hype around the anticipated hardware from the Cupertino, Calif., company has continued to build for months and years.

I sure don't care for the way the word "hype" is dropped whenever a rumored product is mentioned by someone. A product can't be "hyped" when it doesn't even exist. The only thing being hyped are the rumors themselves, and they are being hyped by the rumor spreaders themselves. There is a difference!
Please don't be insane.
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Please don't be insane.
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post #40 of 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by age234 View Post

Wow, impressive video. Who knows if it'll happen, but that's a great concept.

Knowledge Navigator, anyone?

that was my first thought too. if we take faked technology videos as serious as actually delivered product, then this is a 're-envisioning' of apple's knowledge navigator 'prototype' from the sculley era, more than twenty years later:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...6719096&hl=en#
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